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Main War — Kim Jong Un sent 5 million shells to Russia; Putin will ask for more

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Kim Jong Un sent 5 million shells to Russia; Putin will ask for more

14 Jun, 2024
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Kim Jong Un sent 5 million shells to Russia; Putin will ask for more

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North Korea sent containers to Russia that can hold nearly 5 million artillery shells, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to ask for more during his visit to Pyongyang.

This was stated by South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik in an interview with Bloomberg.

He said that Seoul detected at least 10,000 transport containers sent from North Korea to Russia, which could contain up to 4.8 million artillery shells similar to those used by Putin in the war with Ukraine.

"Putin is expected to seek closer military cooperation with North Korea, especially in military supplies such as artillery shells, which are needed to take advantage of the chance for victory," Shin said.

He also mentioned that North Korea sent dozens of ballistic missiles to help Putin attack Ukraine.

In exchange for ammunition, Russia sent North Korea technology to aid its plans for deploying numerous spy satellites, as well as conventional weapons such as tanks and aircraft.

Putin is set to visit North Korea as early as next week. This trip will be his first since July 2000.

The ammunition sent by North Korea after the Putin-Kim meeting in Russia in September likely far surpassed what the US and the European Union have sent to Ukraine. This enabled Kremlin forces to attack Ukraine while it had to ration ammunition due to depleted stocks, with aid delayed in the US Congress.

While Ukrainian officials raised alarms about the threat of a Russian breakthrough during months-long delays in US arms deliveries, Kyiv's forces largely held the defense, as Moscow's invading army outgunned them almost 10 to 1. The European Union sent one million artillery shells to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Kim is spending significant resources on his missile program. According to Shin, last year's missile tests cost approximately $1 billion. This figure represents about 4% of North Korea's economy, which South Korea estimated at about $24.5 billion in 2022.

"North Korea ignores the hardships of its people while conducting missile provocations. The money is enough to cover the food shortage in North Korea for a year," Shin said.

Satellite images show that Pyongyang is preparing for Putin's visit, reported the Seoul-based specialist service 38 North. The images show construction in Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang, indicating preparations for a military parade, and aircraft parked at Pyongyang's main airport have been moved to the runway, likely to prepare the facility for Putin's reception.

Commercial satellite images and intelligence data provided by the US government show that Russian cargo ships regularly travel between the once-quiet North Korean port of Rajin near the border with Russia. Most of them headed to the former Soviet submarine base, located about 180 kilometers away.

The White House provided images showing weapons being transported along the route and delivered by rail thousands of kilometers to a warehouse in the Russian city of Tikhoretsk for use against Ukraine.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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